They didn't interrupt this quiet summer with an official announcement but last week Google rolled out the most significant changes to their local algorithms of the past two years. Without an official title, Search Engine Land claimed naming rights and went with Pigeon, in respect to the bird's famed navigation skills. Google's initial explanation is that local search will now integrate their traditional set of web ranking signals along with improvements to distance and location rankings. Early evidence supported an interpretation by local search blogger Mike Blumenthal indicating that Google now feels that they can provide better results within smaller geographic boundaries.
Pigeon: Search Engine Land's Name For The New Google Local Search Update